It’s been over a week since I ended my three-month Whole30 journey. I was hoping to jump right into the next stage, but I put that on pause while I was fighting a cold. It seemed a bit foolish to start it 100% when I was sucking on Gatorade, cough drops and chicken soup. Not really what I was planning with my post-Whole30 regime.
Don’t worry, I didn’t go completely off the wagon this past week. I obviously had a free day on my birthday — cake included. And, for the most part I stuck to my Whole30 regime this past week. I had to force my liquids with this stupid cold. Especially during Saturday’s run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Something in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have done.
Needless to say, I wasn’t following the Whole30 strict regime. I added some whole grains and lentils back in my diet along with trace amounts of cheese. And, I did have a post-run Slurpee on Saturday. All of these are BIG no nos for the Whole30 program. But, I kept away from the candy and most refined sugars — I just don’t want to go back there, at all.
But, in moving forward from the Whole30 regime — I am planning on following a lot of the same rules … with some adaptation. In looking over the Whole30 program and what’s worked for me in the past, I came up with a program that I am going to try for the next month. Again, I was going to start this August 16th, but due to my cold I decided to start when I was at least 85% better.
Which today seems like a good day to start. Actually, any day is a good day — except for Mondays. I don’t start diets on Monday. It’s too cliche. I didn’t start my fitness journey on a Monday — it was actually a Thursday. So why wait, right? But, that’s a post for another day.
So the plan for the next month is fairly simple. I’m sticking to the Whole30 diet with a 80/20 mentality. While working on the diet plans — I called the diet Whole24/6, but really it’s just following an 80/20 paleo diet — if you want to get technical. So, I guess we’ll call this the Paleo 80/20 diet?
Regardless of what you call it, here are the basic rules …
1) Follow the basic rules Whole30 for 80% of my meals throughout the week (this breaks down to 32 meals throughout one week).
2) Get eight “exception meals” throughout the week (that’s 20% of my weekly meals)
3) Refrain from gluten and dairy throughout the program — including exception meals (during Whole30 I discovered these are triggers to my thyroid).
4) Run three times a week.
5) Do weight-training 2-3 times a week.
6) Weigh-in every 30 days.
The rules are fairly basic and straightforward. And, that’s by design. That’s one thing about the Whole30 that I loved and appreciated. It’s not easy, but it’s simple to follow.
The only “complicated” feature of my program is the “exception meal.” And, it’s something that I’ve been grappling with for the past few weeks. Mainly, what constitutes an “exception meal” and how do you regulate that?
So I came up with with a fairly simple point system. Each week (beginning on Monday) I am given eight points, which represent the right free meals I get each week. I get to use these points however I choose throughout the week.
Now each point equals one exception to the Whole30 program. Meaning — anything on that no eat list is one exception. So this would be dairy, cheese, gluten, bread, pasta, smoothies, beans, processed food, refined sugar, added sugar, honey, sweetener, etc., etc., etc. You know the rules.
So this means — if I want something that has beans in it … that’s one point. If I want to add cheese to that dish that’s another exception point. So that meal constitutes two exception points. Now, this doesn’t mean I can eat as many beans or cheese in that dish as I want. Each exception point is ONE serving that exception. So if I want more cheese — that’s another exception point I would have to use.
Now, if I want to use those exception points daily I could do that or I could save it up for a bigger meal during the week. But, it will take planning. If I want nachos — I gotta plan for that. Especially if that means I sacrifice exception meals during the week. The decision is up to me.
See how the exception points are somewhat complicated — yet easy?
The goal with the exception points is to keep me honest, accountable and cognisant with what I am eating. As much as I loved and succeeded with Whole30, I don’t feel like it’s a long term solution. There has to be variance, there has to be wiggle room.
I’ve read a number of studies and reports that show an 80/20 approach to dieting and health makes for better long term success. And, from my experience I agree. This system I believe will give me that approach with great accountability. I respond well these approaches to my health.
This is for everyone? Of course not. Does it make a paleo based diet easier? I would hope so. I see a lot of value in following a paleo based diet. You can’t beat real food. As delicious as a big ‘ol fatty burger with fries is, nothing beats following a habitual diet of real food. Not only do you appreciate those burger and fries more, but often than not — you really don’t crave them as much either.
I can’t tell you how much I love my daily doses of fresh fruit — bananas, grapes and apples — along with veggie-filled omelets or salads. That’s the food I crave. I am not looking to replace those with this system. But, at the same time, I want to be able to enjoy the occasional Slurpee without feeling like I’ve busted the diet to kingdom come either.
There’s a balance to all of this and I am excited to see how my body reacts to this all. I guess you could say I am my own guinea pig to this program? No better person to do that than myself, right?
So here goes nothing!
NOTE: I will continue to check in every Friday of my progress. But, I won’t be weighing in next until September 23rd (30 days from now). We’ll see how this goes!
One perk of working at the University of Utah is that they have a number of professional development and fitness classes that they offer for fairly cheap. I’ve been working here full-time now for four years and, sadly, haven’t taken advantage of any of these classes — until now.
With the start of the semester this week, I decided to change that. Since it’s been hard for me to get to my gym before or after work (last class is at 6pm) because of the bus schedule, I decided to workout here on campus. Well, I should say — I signed up for a class here on campus.
I enrolled in a strength training class that goes from 5:25pm to 6:30pm on Monday and Wednesday nights. Which gives me enough time to catch the last bus of the day at 7pm. Not a bad deal.
I had a couple of options for classes, but I chose to go with strength training, mainly because — that’s probably my biggest need fitness wise right now. I’ve been doing circuit training with lighter weights, but I need to lift heavier. My body not only needs it, but it craves it. My arms are a bit squishy and rival those of half of my ward’s Relief Society. Yeah, I went there.
Anyways — the class starts tonight and runs until the first week of December. Depending on how this all goes I want to continue to do this, because each fitness class is only $50 a semester. Not bad at all.
So as of right now my workout schedule for the week looks something like this …
MON. — Strength Training
TUES. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo/Recovery Run
WED. — Strength Training
THURS. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo Run
FRI. — Rest Day
SAT. — Long Run: Training or Race
Not a bad schedule. I am excited to see the results each month and during on the last day of class. Suns out, guns out — right?